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Apple gives iPhone 6s Plus camera a test drive at New York Fashion Week


Update, Sept. 19: Vogue originally posted the wrong photos. They’ve now been updated with the correct images shot on iPhone 6s Plus.

Apple’s new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus won’t officially arrive for customers until September 25th, but Apple is giving the upgraded camera on the devices a real world test drive at New York Fashion Week. It appears Apple handed over a few of the unreleased phones to Vogue and they enlisted photographer Kevin Lu to shoot the show entirely with the new iPhone.

The upgraded camera on the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus was a highlight feature of the next-generation smartphones when Apple unveiled the new lineup earlier this month. The new iPhones include an upgraded 12 megapixel camera that Apple said has 50% more pixels and improved accuracy for autofocus over the previous generation. The new camera also includes support for shooting 4K videos.

Lu shared his thoughts on the camera (the iPhone 6s Plus) in the Vogue article after using them to shoot the show:

“It’s a lot quicker, so I can get more shots that I want, so I don’t miss much,” Lu tells of the phone’s responsiveness. “I also do videography, so the 4K video is really helpful because the quality is absolutely insane on a mobile phone and you can see a lot of detail.” While Lu is a professional whose photos have been featured in Apple campaigns, he believes the new update will make it even easier for amateur snappers to get top-shelf shots. “With a 12-megapixel camera, you can really get some incredible details, and you can zoom in a lot closer when you need to,”

Pre-orders for the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus kicked off last weekend followed by Apple announcing it was on pace to beat its record of 10 million units for opening-weekend sales. The device will officially go on sale at retail stores and online in one week on September 25th. 

The images above all come from Lu and the iPhone 6s Plus and include shots from the runways of Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, and Coach during New York Fashion Week. More on Lu’s Instagram.

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  1. Vogue claim “So new, it’s not even available to the public yet, making Lu’s pics the first ever shot by a photographer on the phone”. To which I reply: Then who took the photos in Iceland that were used in the 9th September Apple presentation? Magic space elves? A passerby? If not a professional photographer, *who*?

    • Nicholas S Hussain - 8 years ago

      Please go back and watch a the special event video.. the guy says the photos were taken on an iPhone 6 and not iPhone 6S… I’m not an Apple Fanboy. Android user for life. But I can’t ignore when someone acts ignorant.

  2. mahmudf2014 - 8 years ago

    Well, 4K video recording have been found on the other smartphones long before iPhone 6s and 12MP camera doesn’t have enough detail to compete with other smartphones. Even though it will have great camera, it’s not going to be much better than the Galaxy S6’s camera. Who cares if it does take great photos? Nowadays every smartphone already do that.

    • Tom - 8 years ago

      @mahmud Haters gonna hate!

      • mahmudf2014 - 8 years ago

        You know what? I’ve an iPhone 6 and i’m gonna get 6s Plus soon. I almost have all of Apple products but the thing is, while 4K video recording and 12MP are new to iPhone line but not the other phones. So, there is nothing new in iPhone 6S’ camera.

      • mahmudf2014 - 8 years ago

        Oh, man, these typos are gonna kill me

      • Thomas Georgetown - 8 years ago

        That really isn’t hate, he was just stating a fact. The only hate, if you must see hate, is your name calling.

    • colby (@Colbywankanobi) - 8 years ago

      Megapixel count mean very little to photo quality, its about the quality of the camera hardware and the capability of the software. this is why the iPhone’s current 8MP sensor could compete with phones with loads higher Megapixel counts. Stop being so obsessed with numbers.

      • mahmudf2014 - 8 years ago

        No, i’m not obsessed with numbers but if you look at other phones, they have bigger sensor and aperture to solve this problem. And, Megapixels are not that important but again if you look at other smartphones and reviews you can see almost all of them have more detail on daylight. Ofc, low light is a different story but Apple could make better cameras for iPhones but they wouldn’t. Now they started make better cameras, even though they are still taking it slowly. Why? Because people had started to complaint. They were under pressure. Apple does love making more profits and they are not adding features or puts better sensors when they think they can get away without lowering the sales. But when people complaints, they make something to fix it or make it better. I’m an Apple fan but i’m not blind

      • Thomas Georgetown - 8 years ago

        I thought it odd that the photographer they entrusted to do this mentions megapixels like that was the thing to judge by over all other aspects of the camera in the phone.

    • dcperin - 8 years ago

      Megapixels are NOT the only thing that make a great photo….. Powerful sensors, great engineering and ability to capture light mean 100x times more than megapixel count. That’s why iPhone’s consistently produce some of the best mobile photos around.

      • dcperin - 8 years ago

        And as Colby said, the software….. The software is so important when it comes to photos from a mobile phone.

      • mahmudf2014 - 8 years ago

        Sir, i’m not saying iPhone camera is bad. It’s one of the best. But why didn’t Apple make it better? They could but they didn’t. They could put this sensor last year but, again, they didn’t. They have that power to do that. Now, some media reviews call the S6 and Note 5 cameras are the best. They have 1/2.6 vs 1/3.07 sensor and f1.9 vs f2.2 aperture. Why did Apple let that happen? This is why they are taking better photos than iPhone 6. They have low light capability as much as an iPhone 6 and in daylight they get more detail because of megapixel count. Don’t get me wrong but Apple still uses the smaller sensor and the aperture is still f2.2 with iPhone 6s. Can iPhone 6s take better photos than S6/Note 5? Yep, it could. But if it would have bigger sensor, they could have gone further. They could make it f2.0 or f1.9 and they could add little bit bigger sensor. That could lead to much better photos. This is what i’m talking about.

      • dcperin - 8 years ago

        You’re back tracking now. Your first comment said something about not caring that it takes great photos, all phones do now.. Something to that extent.. If you believe that, what’s the fuss about? Technically, Samsung could make their camera’s even better than they are now, so why not make them better too? The 6s hasn’t even came out yet, let’s see it perform in real world situations before declaring anything about it. And the fact that it’s even a debate with apples “inferior” specs tells me all I need to know.. It’s close enough race to even talk about it. Samsung has had a higher megapixel count for years now, yet this is their first phone they’ve produce that might actually take a better photo than iP’s. 😜

    • virtualstorm - 8 years ago

      WOW. People like you just clueless.
      One of the best cameras to shoot video is Sony A7SII. Just released this month and it’s “only” 12 MP ($3000). Nikon’s Flagship camera is D4S is “only” 16 MP ($6000)

      And those prices are body only with no lens.

      Go back to your cave.

      • mahmudf2014 - 8 years ago

        C’mon, these are professional cameras with extraordinary low light capabilities. And they have much, much bigger sensors, lenses. We’re talking about smartphones here not mirrorless or dslr cameras. Also, these will be much better for low light conditions compared to other dslrs but if you’re gonna take photos in daylight, you could go with other professional cameras with higher megapixels. Because in daylight, you won’t notice much difference when you have bigger micron pixels.

      • dgatwood42 - 8 years ago

        For video purposes, anything over 12 MP is overkill, and arguably anything over about 3 MP. After all, 1080p is about 2 MP, and 4K video is about 8 MP, but when you shoot widescreen video, the camera crops off the top and bottom of the image, so you would need approximately a 12 MP still photo sensor to actually achieve that resolution for video purposes. You get no benefits from adding additional pixels when shooting video unless you are using a digital zoom feature (ugh). And having more pixels means that the camera must scale the image, reducing the number of pixels to the desired output resolution. Because of the limited CPU power available and the need to perform this scaling continuously without running down a tiny, low-capacity battery, in-camera video scaling tends to be done poorly, in ways that introduce artifacts. So for video, having more resolution than is needed for 4K output can actually be a liability, because you’re not shooting at the camera’s native resolution.

        For photo purposes, you’re a lot more likely to crop—particularly if you’re taking candid shots and don’t always have the luxury of framing the shot perfectly. Having extra resolution can be extremely valuable when doing so. And you’re a lot more likely to print stills on large format media than video captures, so that extra resolution matters a lot more. Also, scaling for photos is rarely done in cameras (most serious photographers shoot RAW), making that less of an issue. And even if you’re shooting scaled JPEGs, a camera can do much better scaling (given the same amount of CPU power and battery power) when shooting short bursts at 8 fps than when shooting for minutes at a time at 30 fps, so the scaling algorithms that camera companies use for photos tend to be much, much better.

        When shooting stills, I routinely find myself wishing I had more resolution than my Canon 6D (20.2 MP) provides. If I had to do similar shooting with a fixed-focal-length lens like an iPhone, and having to throw away resolution to gain reach, I would need at least 3.5 gigapixels to do the same job, assuming my math is correct (to get to about 420mm in 35mm equivalent focal length). Unfortunately, the laws of physics won’t allow that, both because most of the pixels would never capture a single photon in typical lighting conditions and because you’d hit diffraction limits long before you reached that point. (In fact, using the Rayleigh criterion for resolution, and assuming green light, the diffraction limit of an iPhone 6’s lens, even at f/2.2, is only about 9.2 MP, so unless they made the sensor bigger than on the iPhone 6, there was probably very little point in going from 8 MP to 12 MP, much less going any further than that. To go any higher than that, a larger lens is an absolute requirement.)

    • Sumit A (@nepalisherpa) - 8 years ago

      You do realize that 4K = 4096 x 2160 which is roughly 8MP, right? A 16MP camera is not going to give you any more detail than a 12MP camera when the sensors are small and recording resolution is the same.

    • leifashley - 8 years ago

      Yea but the photo quality on the S6 blows. It’s grainy and has horrible contrast in low light and low/high light situations. I tried both side by side with identical photo shots, and the iPhone 6 completely wiped the floor with the S6.

      Bottom line: higher MP doesn’t make for better pictures. I’m sure video is the same way…

  3. DamoTheBrave - 8 years ago

    Almost every one in the audience taking photos in portrait.

    • dcj001 - 8 years ago

      That is not necessarily bad.

      The bad thing is that some of them were creating videos while holding their phones in portrait orientation.

    • aaronh - 8 years ago

      That’s pretty common when taking photos of people. What are those called again?

      Oh, right. Portraits.

    • nelson1112233 - 8 years ago

      Which is the right thing to do, when capturing an human figure.

    • leifashley - 8 years ago

      Artistic discreetion…

  4. Don Wise (@doncwise) - 8 years ago

    I love the idea of 4k and 1080 video on either the new or existing iPhone 6’s. The problem is finding good methods of posting both high-quality stills and HD content at a reasonable price. I either have to downgrade the quality of my video for my slideshows or eliminate it altogether (i.e. FB).

  5. The pictures are well composed, nice cell phone images but nothing more than that. Also, although megapixels are not necessarily a good measure of quality, these photos would have benefited from more resolution.

    • dgatwood42 - 8 years ago

      IMO, what these photos would have benefited most from is a narrower depth of field and an optical zoom.

      • PhilBoogie - 8 years ago

        Aren’t these women narrow enough already¿

      • dgatwood42 - 8 years ago

        In case you’re serious, depth of field refers to how deep an area is in focus. With a shallow depth of field, objects in front of the subject or behind the subject will appear significantly out of focus. With a wider/deeper depth of field, they won’t.

        The lower the f-stop number, the wider the depth of field, but that’s only true when comparing cameras with the same sensor size. If you compare, for example, a ~7x crop factor camera to a full-frame (35mm) sensor, because the sensor 1/7th as wide, the apparent f-stop is 7x as large. So the widest aperture (f/2.2) on a full-frame 35mm camera looks like about f/16 on a full-frame 35mm camera.

        The problem is, that’s roughly the smallest aperture that a 35mm camera would shoot, because when you go smaller than that, the diffraction limits of the lens start to reduce the resolution of your photos. You’ll occasionally see a 35mm-style lens that goes to f/22, but most range from about f/4 (much shallower depth of field than an iPhone) up to about f/16 (the same as an iPhone), on average. Some have even wider apertures. For the iPhone’s camera to truly be comparable to a DSLR camera, it would need to have an aperture range of approximately f/0.17 to f/2.2.

        Incidentally, this also means that you would lose resolution if you narrowed the iPhone’s aperture even slightly, which is why the built-in camera doesn’t provide you with any control over its aperture (AFAIK). You would never want to go up from f/2.2 on such a small lens, only down.

  6. eim23x - 8 years ago

    my iPhone 6s gold 128gb from Verizon was just charged 2 hours ago, status did not change on Verizon site yet still processing.

  7. firuqutharuphwafozurtbud - 8 years ago

    first pic looks STUFFY. Hope the airflow is adequate.

  8. macnificentseven48 - 8 years ago

    Wow! Most of the people shown are using smartphones for the event. It looks as though inexpensive digital cameras are getting replaced in a number of situations. That must be really hurting the camera makers. The newer smartphones make it redundant to carry an additional picture-taking device. The smartphone has to be one of the most versatile gadgets on the planet. Apple should definitely continue to invest most of its resources into the iPhone.

  9. bill tng (@vanguy79) - 8 years ago

    What I would like to see is more photos taken in low light/Night conditions cuz that is what I am more interested in knowingfor the new camera for iPhone6s .


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.